Mazda has laid out a plan to up its corporate fuel economy by 30 percent by 2015, and is well on its way to do so with its new SkyActiv engines. Although Mazda has already revealed its 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G will power the 2012 Mazda2, the first Skyactiv engine to reach production will be a new 1.3-liter I-4, which is destined for the 2012 Mazda2/ Demio.
The new 1.3-liter uses increased compression, along with reduced internal friction, to increase fuel efficiency. A compression ratio of 14.0:1, direct fuel injection, and multi-hole fuel injectors (designed too prevent engine knocking) allow Mazda to achieve the highest possible efficiency out of a traditional internal-combustion, gas-powered engine. The new engine is rated at 83 hp and 83 lb-ft of torque for the Japanese-market Demio (known elsewhere as the Mazda2), and is mated withMazda’s i-Stop start-stop system (which won’t be ported to the U.S. for quite some time, if at all). Presently, Mazda says the system, when bundled with a continuously variable transmission, returns nearly 70.5 mpg combined on the Japanese 10-15 testing cycle.
Even though Mazda says that they will not bring the new 1.3-liter Skyactiv engine to European or North American markets, that’s a far cry from the current U.S.-spec Mazda2. Presently, the 2011 Mazda 2 is rated at 27/33 mpg (city/highway) when fitted with a 1.5-liter I-4 and a four-speed automatic. That said, output from the Skyactiv-G 1.3-liter is down 17 hp and 11 lb-ft when compared to the current 1.5-liter engine.
While Mazda has no plans to bring this engine Stateside, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a slightly different Skyactiv-G offering make its way into Mazda2s sent to North America in the near future.